We can all recognize that low voter turnout is a problem in the United States. Even in the Presidential election year of 2012, only 57% of Americans took the time to vote.

But is fining people who don’t vote the solution?

Pennsylvania state senator Anthony Williams thinks so. He plans to introduce legislation in the state that would make voting mandatory. If anyone does not vote, they will pay a fine for shirking their civil duties.

Williams repeated a statement made by President Obama: “If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country.” He also cited the example of Australia, whose voter turnout shot to 90% after instituting compulsory voting.

State representative Kevin Schreiber disagrees with Williams’ solution. “We want as many people to participate as possible, but it’s your right to choose to participate in that process.” He recommended making voter registration available online to make voting easier.

Representative Rick Saccone disagrees even more strongly with the mandatory voting method. “It’s a violation of our rights as citizens. The government shouldn’t force us to vote. That’s our choice.”

Several Constitutional experts say there’s no need to worry about such an initiative getting very far, because the First Amendment would ensure “it’s not happening.” But President Obama revealed that he would like to see mandatory voting as a solution to the ‘money in politics’ problem. He said it would be “transformative,” adding that “other countries have mandatory voting.”

But should the United States really be looking toward other countries to determine our policies? Wouldn’t we be better off setting an example of true freedom for others to follow?

In fact, refusing to pull the lever for any of the candidates is a way to let your feelings be known. Politicians now in office could actually do what they promised when they were out kissing babies.

If the government wants us to vote, they should act like voting matters.

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.